Letters for June 21, 2001

Brüka’s play ending was disappointing

Re “Jolly Good Show” (RN&R Theater, May 10):

This is the first time I’ve been disappointed with a production by Brüka Theatre. I was also disappointed with the review of Brüka’s production of The Threepenny Opera.

Did [playwright] Bertolt Brecht grant “a reprieve” to Mack the Knife? The Brüka cast said a happy ending had been given to the play, but what I saw was not a happy ending. The subculture (epitomized by Mack) was reprieved. It was practically given license to play do-gooders against the untitled poor, so that in the end, the poor were left continuing to do the Oliver Twist. The do-gooders’ efforts continued to be gobbled up by Mack and his hoods. Even Mack’s henchmen, the corrupt officials and the women he used (no mention of their children) were left at his merciless whim. They continued to idolize him, not seeing any other lifestyle open to them.

Beth Miramon

Props to petitions bill sponsors

AB 443, a little publicized but important bill affecting citizen rights, passed the Nevada Legislature and was approved by the governor. AB 443, sponsored by Assemblywoman Vivian Freeman, requires state and local government buildings to provide an area for people to circulate petitions.

Last year, petitioners were threatened with arrest at public buildings such as the Department of Motor Vehicles in Reno. Doug Smith of Citizens for a Scenic Reno and I helped draft this bill, which was supported by other petitioners, such as Janine Hansen and the Eagle Forum.

Included in AB 443 is a prohibition against any local or state government spending the public’s tax dollars to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question. This was prompted by the city of Reno’s outrageous full-page ads in the daily paper promoting the railroad trench project and the large public relations staff that was promoting the council incumbents. AB 443 also increases the number of days from 60 to 90 for obtaining signatures on a recall petition.

AB 443 was passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature. Thanks to Vivian Freeman.

Michael C. Robinson

Preparation sometimes isn’t enough

Re “Nurses: Give Baby to Mommy” (RN&R Guest Comment, May 3) and “Get Prepared; Don’t Blame Nurses” (RN&R Letters, May 31):

The Guest Comment about childbirth sparked some still bitter feelings and anger towards James Smith’s response.

I gave birth at Northern Nevada Medical Center in 1995. I attended birthing classes, and my son’s father and a backup attended with me. I filled out a directory from my doctor regarding my wishes. I toured the center and asked several questions. I researched carefully. I was PREPARED.

I went to the hospital for what I thought would turn out to be false labor and was kept overnight. I was nearly two weeks early, and I was unable to locate my directive. I told the nurses what I wanted and what was in my directive—and the fights ensued. I got what I wanted, but not without argument, and it continued to worsen. All of a sudden, it wasn’t my experience anymore.

Nothing I wanted was dangerous or unacceptable, but it didn’t matter. They didn’t believe me when I told them that the epidural, which was only supposed to numb me from the waist down, had numbed me to my neck. During pushing, I said to my son’s father, “Honey, I need you.” The nurse told me, “He doesn’t need to do anything. This is your job, not his.”

I was broken and defeated. What should have been the most wonderful experience, the birth of my first child, was destroyed by these nurses.

Michelle Parnell

Time for Doula 101

Re “Expectant Parents Have Options” (RN&R Letters, May 31):

It was great to see doulas mentioned in the RN&R. Although it is not a new concept, the term is unfamiliar to most people.

Doula is a Greek word that means “woman who serves.” Female helpers have always been an integral part of childbearing. From sisters, aunties and grandmas to nurses, midwives and doulas, women need women when giving birth. As a doula serving the Reno area, my role is to help women be active participants who give birth, rather than just having an actively managed delivery.

Betsy Melancon